The Ying to each other's Yang
After winning a Student Academy Award and Emmy for the short film Knock Knock, Chad found himself in Hollywood, figuring out how to pursue his passion and make enough money to live. However, unlike most film students who graduate with eyes set towards the big lights, Chad never really saw himself being happy as a cog in the machine of large Hollywood productions.
Chad graduated in 2005 when YouTube was just launching, and he was immediately drawn to the platform for its ability to democratize storytelling. His friends, who were the “true” filmmakers, weren’t interested in this platform full of cat videos and memes, but Chad really thought there was something powerful about the ability for a filmmaker like him to create short stories and distribute them directly to an engaged audience with little to no barriers to entry.
Fast forward a few years, add a few right-place-right-time encounters, and Chad launched One Tree Forest, a production studio that provided content to brands without all the historical barriers required to make great stories.
At just about the same time Chad was winning his Student Academy Award, Abby was graduating from school with a marketing, management, psychology degree and a dream of having a go at the advertising industry.
She applied to all the big firms in Chicago, and when she realized none of them would pay her enough to make rent, she happened upon a small digital start-up specializing in search and social marketing called Resolution Media.
Eight months later, Resolution was acquired by Omnicom Media Group, and Abby found herself on the leading edge of a revolution that would forever change the world of advertising. She spent the next 12 years across a number of different agencies throughout Omnicom as a change agent…helping clients and fellow team members harness the potential of these new platforms. And in 2015, Abby was acknowledged for her successes by being named Chicago Interactive Marketing Association’s Digital Person the the Year.
A chance meeting at a street festival in Chicago forever changed the trajectory of both our personal lives and careers forever. After four years, a house, a dog, and a new baby, Abby quit her agency gig as a Global Account Director to join Chad to help grow One Tree Forest.
Chad is the creator, empathizer, and perceiver. Abby is the strategist, architect, and driver. We are the ying each other’s yang, two change makers with different backgrounds but similar perspectives of the industry, coming together to tell stories that bring value to the brands we work with.